We all need happy songs these days, but we’ve always needed happy songs – and we’ve always needed happy songs that aren’t just happy, just pop fluff, but actually earn that cheer, even acknowledge that it’s okay if you’re not okay. There’s thankfully many artists providing such songs these days, particularly thankfully that there’s artists who’ve been doing it well for decades, like Belle & Sebastian with their latest, A Bit of Previous.
While they came up in the Britpop nineties, the Scottish band’s style leaned more towards the Franco-pop of the sixties, and that comes through particularly clearly on Previous. There’s the killer French up-pop in “Come on Home” that of course Belle & Sebastian do so well, but also the wry & catchy upbeat to the previous “Unnecessary Drama”. And the album opens with the band’s lovely ode to the days when we were “Young and Stupid”.
Those standout tracks do stand out, with not every piece on A Bit of Previous hitting such a sweet spot. But it’s just lovely to have Belle & Sebastian still making lovely music.